Get It Quietly

Football, bollocks and a bit of poker if you're lucky.

Location: Enfield, London, United Kingdom

Sunday, December 14, 2003

Stay on Home Ground

I made a bit of a mistake this week - for some reason I had been posting a bit more on various forums until I made the singular mistake of saying something that people don't want to hear. Namely that the high proportion of online qualifiers in the Poker Million would mean that the show would not be as exciting or entertaining as for example the WPT.

I stand by what I said, although I have no intention of posting any further on the topic. Dave Colclough made an opposing argument but felt it was necessary to call me "stupid". Fair enough, I'm a big boy, but I lost respect for him because there was no need to be personal. Another poster offered the old schoolyard "well I'll fight you then" by challenging me to outlast him online or something - goodbye. Incidentally this challenge was laid down 2 hours after Dave's post - but 4 days after mine. Which I thought was interesting.

Anyway, both missed my point. No doubt some very good players will qualify on-line and everyone has a chance in a very fast structure, as we saw last time. My point is that many people will qualify on-line through free-rolls and satellites who have never played for anything like that kind of money. If 30 people qualify online I guarantee at least 10 of them will be rabbits in the headlights once £40K is on the table. 10 more will be very, very nervous. Having one player at a table who's out of his depth is one thing - having two or three players, six-handed, is going to remove a lot of the tension and the interest in my book.

Funnily enough the latest WPT episode illustrated this quite nicely. Albeit this was Limit Hold-em, in the final we had 2 pros (both top players) and 4 on-line qualifiers. Of the on-line crew, one wasn't too bad and finished third. One woman I'm sure was thinking of nothing apart from how good her own hand was. One guy didn't play a hand and got anted away. And one kid who fancied himself as the new generation of poker and could see lots of mistakes the professionals were making. He got ironed out in 5 minutes (in Limit Hold-em !). Quite entertaining in its way but, even though these players made it through huge fields on-line and the WPT event itself, it wasn't great poker until Jett and Lederer were heads up. The strength of the WPT is that most weeks there's maybe one player at most who made it through satellites (whether on-line or B+M) and the rest are tough pros who are used to these stakes.

By the way, the money factor didn't apply last time (and won't again) to the snooker players. These guys have played snooker, a game with a wafer-thin margin of error, for huge amounts of money in front of huge audiences for many years. They weren't fazed at all and they were also helped by some poor play from professionals who should have known better (see "New World Poker Champion, 18/7/03 below).

Sure anyone can win the Poker Million. But that's not my point. If Sky are still happy with their audiences when heats 10 and 11 come round I will stand corrected. Until then, we shall see. And if you don't agree, you can call me what you like. Cos there's no right of reply on here :-)

[9/7/04 Note : actually now there is :-)]


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